Guangdong signs star Yi for two more years
Updated: 2013-09-15 07:35
By Xinhua in Guangzhou (China Daily)
Former NBA star Yi Jianlian has signed a new two-year contract with Chinese champion Guangdong Hongyuan, the club said on Friday.
According to the south China basketball team, Yi's contract is "full time" and "without any optional clause", which means there will be no chance for the 2.08m Chinese forward to play in NBA for the next two years.
"I am not thinking of going back to the NBA now, but I have been keeping my eyes on the other coast of the Pacific," said Yi in a previous interview with a Chinese magazine.
"The Chinese league has been growing fast and becoming more and more competitive, we saw stars like Stephen Marbury and Tracy McGrady coming to China these years," he said.
The 26-year-old forward has completed a nationwide champions "grand slam" which included the Chinese Youth, the CBA and the National Games championships, the latter of which he won last Thursday by overcoming host Liaoning.
Averaging 24.6 points and 10.5 rebounds, Yi also helped Guangdong Hongyuan win back their CBA trophy for the 2012-2013 season, when he was named the MVP of the regular season, playoffs and the All-Star game.
Hailed as the backbone of the Chinese national team after Yao Ming's retirement, Yi failed to lead the titleholder into the final four at the Asian men's basketball championships in the Philippines in August, which was the worst result in the 38 years since China first took part in the event.
Yi was chosen by the Milwaukee Bucks as the sixth pick in the NBA draft in 2007. He played for the New Jersey Nets in 2008, the Washington Wizards in 2010 and 2011, and the Dallas Mavericks in 2012.
(China Daily 09/15/2013 page7)